From the RAC

Recently I was asked by a Dining Services supervisor to conduct a briefing for the staff focus on unique customer service characteristics of Riderwood residents. As is usually the case, my research gave me much greater insight into the topic. I’d like to share a summary of my findings with you.

Good customer service can only be achieved if you truly understand your customer and act as if you do.

Riderwood residents are:

  • More frail and have health issues that often make us difficult to deal with.
  • Riderwood is our home and when we go to a campus restaurant, we are going to a part of our home.
  • For some of us a trip to a campus restaurant is the only time during the day that we leave our apartment. We come looking for socialization, good food, good service and a change of scenery.
  • Often we feel like captives since we no longer drive. We can’t just jump into our cars and go to an off-campus restaurant.
  • We have lived a long time and know what good food and excellent service looks like. Our expectations are high.

Strategies for consideration by dining staff:

  • Acknowledge new customers and let them know you’ll serve them right away and then follow through.
  • When you see rules that don’t make sense, discuss them with your supervisor.
  • Write down customer orders and then repeat them back to the customer making sure you’re both on the same page.
  • Smile and make small talk. Residents love having young people in the Riderwood community. Makes them feel welcome!
  • Take responsibility for optimizing each customer experience.

— Maggie Kinnaman, Liaison to Marketing & Human Resources


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